Saturday, December 28, 2013

Living with Kids

We were privileged, this past September, to be featured on DesignMom (my fave) for her "Living with Kids" series.  Most of the homes featured on it are so lovely and created by actual designers-- ours obviously isn't of the same caliber, but it's unique in that we were able to build it for low cost during our intersection in our lives, and still have a high-quality of living here.  We never want to leave!

Read about it here:

Gabrielle (DesignMom) chose pictures particular to the interest of her readers, but here are some of the extras from the shoot:





Tuesday, December 3, 2013

Thanksgiving in the 'burg

As per annual tradition, we journeyed to Rexburg for the Thanksgiving holiday (and my birthday, ahem).  It doesn't sound terribly glamorous when declaring our plans to friends, but is the best type of soul comforting vacation for me.  Grandparents, yummy food, reliable traditions, and the familiarity of a home away from home make for the best of times.  
My maternal grandparents recently relocated for the second time in the last year.  One imagines one's mother and grandmothers in a particular setting (the kitchen, for me...how progressive is that thought for this closet feminist?), but I didn't know where to picture my grandma for the past months since they'd moved.  It bugged me.  This gives some perspective on the magnitude of problems (or lack of) I have in my life.

I cannot get enough of this stunning beacon that sits on the hill across the road from my grandparents.  This time, we went inside.  


It took a little time to familiarize ourselves with G Gma's new stomping grounds 
(some of us more than others).

Everything felt absolutely luxurious- particularly the plush carpet.  Being used to concrete, I just couldn't get enough of the cozy padding all around the house, and neither could my kids.  
So, lots of floor time with somersaults and dare-devil moves.
All the bathrooms have lovely deep drawers...deep enough to house a hearty babe!
Here's a peek into  a secret hide-out under the stairs

The bedroom closets are mirrored.

...and Aunt Jasmine ("Ja-mins") enhanced the novelty of it all.


Cousin Eli (and his mom) graced Mia with a turkey hunt, 
Thanksgiving bracelet craft, and fun appetizers:


Cooking along side Mom, Aunt Amy, & Gma Heinz made for a heavenly meal.
Here we are, post-feast, full and content.

A little jaunt around the neighborhood is always necessary after the binge.  
This one was particularly delicious!



I got to squish my birthday celebrations into the festivities as well.
One of the best treats?
Great Gpa AND Great Gma joining us for a swim at Green Canyon Hot Springs.  It's usually a cultural experience, but I didn't notice the cutoff and mullet clad clientele this year...I was too busy reveling in the rarity of the occasion.  It seems like I spent my young childhood trying to convince her to swim with me in her own Kailua pool.  Her response was always, "I don't like the water."  So I assumed she didn't shower either.  Water is water.  
How did she always smell so sweet...like Nexxus Humectress conditioner?
Anyhow, here is the evidence for those who know her and may not believe me.  
My grandma is in a swimsuit!  I sure hope I look like her when I'm 77.

My fishy:
video

As per the usual, June was a peacemaker when things got tense btw Mia and her counterpart.

Birthday jog with my favorite running partner.  
He tries to manipulate me into running faster every time despite declarations of 
"you set the pace, Ashley." 

Party prep was just as much fun as the party itself!

My Great Gma Harmon gifted me an entire family of handmade, Finnish mittens.  
I wish I could frame them, but they've already been put to good use keeping our fingers much toastier than any other pair I've owned.

A willing audience makes for an encouraged performer...if you catch the right moment.  
Here's a sample of the arabesquing.
video

I just really like the people in this picture
(missing Aunt Ramona and Jack who had taken off earlier).
See my lovely burning trifle in the middle of the table?
It was to-die-for, but its number of candles are starting to creep me out!  Alas, no turning back and on to 30!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Halloweeeeen, Two Thousand Thirteeeeeen

We decorated pumpkins the lazy way this year, but I don't think the girls noticed.

Our Halloween festivities turned out just as we'd predicted they would.  
Mia has had a life-long phobia of weird costumes, masks, hats, etc.
So, while a sassy "blue fairy" on the way out the door, she was in shambles by the time we drove several miles to the nearest neighborhood in order to trick-or-treat.  
She is surprisingly articulate about her fears, SHRIEKING things like,
"I don't like this Daddy!  Take me back to home!"
"There's a scary guy COMING!!!"
She'd be a fabulous horror movie actress.  She makes the most innocent Bob the Builder seem like a creep!

June, on the opposite end of the spectrum, would knock expectantly on the doors, and subsequently waltz right into the obliging neighbor's foyer.  The candy part was just a bonus to the home tours.
Not a great success.

The day-time parties weren't much different.
Teacher reports that Mia had a conniption as soon as SpiderMan arrived, and despite the fact that many of her poor classmates were made to remove their fun hats and masks, Mia still sought refuge on this random volunteer's lap for the duration of pre-school.  
No matter that she donned a wild hot-pink wig.  
Mia reports that she liked the "funny mommy with hair."

A wary Mia poses with the other costumed kiddos:

And finally, a fairy and her little lamb in the less-threatening light of day:

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Black Pine Lake

This happened nearly four months ago...but I still want to remember it, so heres a quick record.

David's brother and his family host at an intimate little campground surrounding a pristine mountain lake each summer. This year, the rest of the family went to check out their stomping grounds.  

Gpa R fashioned this fun, but precarious swing for the grandbabies.

We had plenty of opportunities for cousin love and rivalry.  Here's an example...
Whether or not they were having a good time, 
they were not willing to give up their hard-earned spot in the hammock.


Hiking poles are quite the novelty at the commencement,
but lose their glamour pretty quickly and end up shoved under a bush for later retrieval.

We don't hear a single complaint from this girl when she's attached to dog.


Despite lack of ingestion, June's thirst was quenched when mom 
demonstrated her poor water-squirting aim.  It put an unintentional stop to the constant drink requests.  Need to file this memory for later use.  






Saturday, October 12, 2013

June's Top 20

Delinquent blogging makes for really long posts.  These photos cover the course of June's 16th-20th month of life!

1
June can't seem to fit enough flower-smelling in a day.  
This lovely vining hyacinth came to us all the way from PA.  
It doesn't have a very long season in the NorthWest, but it made the East Coast feel closer.  

2
Last warm boat-ride of the season with Gpa-  June still seems to have the baby reflex that causes her to gasp in the wind.  I hope she hangs onto it just a while longer!


3
This girl has no fear.  We worry about her self-preservation mechanism!



4
Trucker-style:  who needs a cig' when one's got a bink?


5


6
"someday..."


7
Our not-so-fun hospital "staycation" to treat June's pneumonia:
For the first two days, it was painful to see June so out of character and struggling to breathe.  I had never experienced that feeling of panicy helplessness with either of my children.  Yuck.


...but the third day was difficult simply because she had bounced-back...maintaining a high-energy toddler who is attached to an i.v. and blood pressure cord is a challenge. Here she is entertaining us from inside her hospital crib-cage.


8
 'wings and 'lides = June's no.1 source of joy 


9


10
First day of nursery: 
Don't be deceived by the expectant look on her face.  Lots of tears on both ends here.  It's been almost two months, and we still haven't discovered a happy way to part.


11
Fish Lake: our neighborhood swimming hole.
So pleased to discover that she is still a buoyant baby!



















12

13
Schweitzer Fall Festival

14


15

16
No matter how much we train, squeezable yogurts and the fine-motor skills of a toddler don't mix.

17
Gma K took us to the circus.
June had a glorious time and participated in every act with shrieks and dancing.



video

This souvenir (courtesy of Gma K)spent the following day obscuring June's vision.
Circus hangover?

18
June has developed an aversion to her high chair.  This is her demeanor after losing the battle:










...rather, she STRONGLY prefers this stool...her self-designated "eat table." 

19
We had broken hearts over June's broken heart at our county fair.  She didn't qualify for a single ride.











19.1

19.2
June could spend a whole hour just bopping around on the trampoline.  Unfortunately, her solo time doesn't last long... Mia is quick to apply chaos to this sweet scene.  

19.3
Feeling disgruntled that Mom won't let me taste these juicy-looking berries!

19.4
I am taking an Adele hiatus for the year.  The disc needed to be "lost."  Whoops... sorry girls!
Here is one last video for good measure.
video

19.5

20
Oh, the novelty of a laundry basket!